Skilled worker visa

The skilled worker visa has replaced the Tier 2 (general visa) and is the main visa route for international students to remain in the UK after graduation if you are not eligible for the graduate route visa which opened in summer 2021.

This visa is for foreign nationals who are coming to the UK for full-time work. It allows you to come to the UK to do an eligible job with an approved employer. This employer will be your sponsor, similar to the University of Liverpool being your Tier 4/Student sponsor.

The employer must be registered as a 'skilled worker' sponsor with the UK government, see the sponsor register.


This is a points-based system application. This means that to qualify you must reach a certain number of points (70), made up of mandatory points (50) and tradable points (20).

Mandatory points

You must score the full 50 mandatory points listed below. If you fail to meet any of the below you will not be eligible for a skilled worker visa.

  • Have sponsorship and have been issued a CoS from an eligible employer (20 points)
  • Job at appropriate skill level (20 points)
  • English Language skills at Level B1 (10 points) – having a UK degree means that you will automatically meet this.

Tradable points

In addition to the 50 mandatory points, you are then required to obtain an additional 20 points from six options, each worth 20 points. You only need to meet one.

  • Salary
  • Salary and relevant PhD qualification
  • Salary and relevant STEM PhD qualification
  • Salary and a job in a shortage occupation
  • Salary and applicant is a new entrant
  • Salary and a job in a listed health or education occupation.

You will need to assess this yourself as your ability to meet one of these requirements will depend on you as an individual, the qualifications you have and the job which you have applied for or are being offered.

Further information

Please read through the information below which details the Skilled Worker visa requirements for you to assess your eligibility and the requirements for making an application.

Your employer will also likely be able to help you further as they are your sponsor of your skilled worker visa, therefore please contact them for support if necessary.


Speak to a International Advice and Guidance advisor

If you are unable to find an answer to your query on our web pages email or book an online confidential one-one appointment.